Art Finds A Way

Lynnor Bontigao had nothing more than a blank page and a pencil. No starting point, no lines, no margins, not even an eraser. At least that is what anyone who looked over her shoulder saw. But more than that, she had a vision. As she sat listening to Jess Hess perform at the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library, Lynnor worked with what she had. She began with a line, then a curve, them more strokes of her pencil created a shape. Some corrections and adjustments  and, finally, a sketch.

Her final portrait can be used as an analogy for Roselle Park Loves ART! and Pam Reinoso.

With nothing but a blank page – so to speak – Pam had an idea and started working on it. She asked about having the MAM Truck from the Montclair Art Museum come to Roselle Park. Hearing about the car show she incorporated that and little by little, her idea took shape. Along the way, there were challenges and changes. All was set . . . and then came the rain.

On the day of the event, an overcast sky along with a forecast of rain had the car show postponed and some events being canceled. Still, Pam kept making adjustments to the vision. A majority of events moved to the library and at 3 o’clock, like clockwork, the rain started.

But little by little, things took shape. The MAM Truck brought their display of “The Tale of Rat Fink” inside, a huge cardboard unpainted sketch for teenagers to complete, musician Jess Hess set up her keyboard, paint and crayons were set out for the younger children, photographs from Michele McGlynn were arranged, information on businesses were displayed, and the doors opened.

The music started as families and neighbors began to arrive. The canvas came alive with colors. Children painted, talked, and laughed. The library on a Saturday afternoon was alive with art, and no one was shushing any of the visitors.

In the end, in spite of the rain and challenges, Pam created something beautiful. A breathing Norman Rockwell painting of small-town America. Lynnor Bontigao walked through the library and quietly sketched artists and performers. Dancers Pointe came in and provided information on their upcoming new location on Westfield Avenue, Planet Dance performed, Park Theatre gave information on their progress to re-open, and other merchants from Costa’s, Chestnut Hill, Bob’s Card Park, Vinhus, Vintage Italian Restaurant, Nealtican, and Pompeii Pizza all took part.

But ask Pam and she will be the first to tell you that she did not do it alone, giving credit to Kit Mahan Rubino, Lynnor Bontigao, Jenny Binaghi Lichtenwalner, Michele McGlynn, Michelle Tolentino, Charlene Storey, Terry Caruso Scutro, Leona Seufert, Pat McCabe Pagnetti, Dennis Cabarle, David Paterno, Al Walcoff, Cristian Iraheta, Joe Accardi, Jess Hess, Megan Connelly Accardi, Maria Fernanda Perez, and Jeof Vita, just to name a few.

Pam Reinoso, taking a rest from all her hard work, is grateful, having said, “Thanks to great community spirit. Fun was had by all, from babies to seniors, in spite of the rain.”

So with that, Roselle Park Loves ART! had its premiere, with a wonderful start; maybe not as planned, but it found a way into the hearts and memories of those who took part.